Louisan Charles was just about to drop her grandchildren off at Giles Campus French Immersion Public School when a man in his underwear jumped on the hood of her car and began aggressively pounding on the windshield.
"He bashed it about four times, it was smashed [and] coming in on me, his nose was bloody and all of that," she told CBC News Friday.
Charles's grandchildren, twin 8-year-old girls and an 11-year-old boy, ran out of the backseat screaming and she soon escaped the car herself.
"I was praying ... That's what I do," she said. "A peace came over me, it's just remarkable ... somehow I was just flooded with, you know, that inner peace that I'll be alright, I'm not alone."
Aby Vigil had just dropped her kids off at school and was driving by Giles Boulevard and Parent Avenue on Thursday morning when she saw the man on top of Charles' car.
Vigil said she rolled down her window and told Charles to get in, in case the man came after her.
"It was really scary. I was in shock to see something like that cause I've never witnessed anything like that before," said Vigil, adding that she immediately contacted police.
According to Windsor police, a man dented the hood of the car and broke the windshield before jumping into the front seat and driving off.
Police say the suspect then reportedly drove on the wrong side of the road and crashed the vehicle in the area of Park Street East and Freedom Way. After the collision he was arrested by police.
Police said he was taken to hospital for a mental evaluation and then into custody.
He is charged with robbery and dangerous driving.
The motive is unknown, police said, adding that he didn't know the woman in the car or her kids. No one was injured.
'[He] wasn't there to cause harm'
The school board's public relations officer Scott Scantlebury said in an email to CBC News that they are aware of the incident and have psychological and social work staff available for anyone needing to talk about what they experienced or witnessed.
Charles said her grandchildren were shaken by the event and sent home from school yesterday. A day later, she still feels as though her "equilibrium" is off.
Mental health educator for Windsor-Essex's Canadian Mental Health Association branch Jenny-Lee Almeida said it's great that the school is providing supports for the community.
She said this sort of incident requires people to reflect and have discussions.
"Have open, honest conversations with your children, be vulnerable ... we want to talk to our children and let them know that ... when we do see someone who is perhaps acting in a way that is threatening, we have to be mindful that perhaps that individual's perception is not to cause harm," she said.
"I know that's hard to say out loud, but ... that individual wasn't there to cause harm. He was in distress."
After watching the footage captured by witnesses, Almeida said she was concerned for everyone but thought about the man.
"It led me to really want to know is he ok? Is he getting treatment?" she said. "An individual who is out early in the morning without any shoes or a shirt on and obviously in the weather, it was chilly, all I think right away is that individual's perception of reality might not be intact as much."
She continued to say people responded appropriately and that she commends the victim for responding in a calm manner.
"It's not what's wrong with the individual ... but something has happened to this individual and that's why they're reacting this way [and] when we flip that script and we're curious ... our compassion kicks up."
And that's exactly how Charles said she's processing the incident.
"I realize that he wasn't himself ... so my heart goes out to him and his condition and I'm hoping and praying," she said. "It was disheartening to see him hurting himself and God knows what else he was thinking in his mind to do."
For now Charles said she's waiting to hear back from the insurance company but that police have said her car is a write off.
A gofundme has been created for Charles to help her purchase a new vehicle.